An early mystery set at a movie studio.
Run time 54 minutes 28 secondsAudio/Visual sound, black & white
June 4, 2011
An entertaining little who-done-it with more suspects than clues, and you may wonder as I did as to how the climactic scene actually forces the killer's confession. Who the four suspects are is pointedly explained prior to the murder of a wanton movie actress. But then the clues dry up, and if you enjoy playing detective you're out of luck. Besides Jason Robards Sr., the only cast member of note is J. Farrell MacDonald in the fourth of his innumerable frustrated-cop roles.
The direction is okay, the acting more or less adequate and the production values typical for a second feature. A less than great mystery, but if you don't expect too much and take it for what it is, you won't be disappointed.
51/2 non-crucial minutes are missing from this print, which includes the title card and all the credits. The image quality is soft but watchable. The sound is okay.
PRIMARY CAST: Natalie Moorhead, Russell Hopton, J. Farrell MacDonald, Barbara Weeks, Jason Robards Sr., Roy D'Arcy and Fred Kelsey
June 4, 2011
A Good, Light Whodunit
Fickle screen star Irma Gladden has a former husband, an estranged husband, both still in love with her, and two lovers, one current. All but the former husband are involved in making her latest movie. She just canned her chauffeur for cause, and the losing lover's wife has confronted her. You know what's coming. A reporter called in by the police chief to help with the case eventually suggests bringing all of the suspects together for a screening of the movie made thus far, thinking there're clues in it. Enough is revealed by implication to cause the murderer to confess, very dramatically.
The movie is an early talkie with lots of dead air, and no music. It could have been a bore, but the dialog is very good as is the acting of J. Farrell MacDonald as Police Chief Summers, Natalie Moorehead as doomed Irma Gladden, and Barbara Weeks as Gladden's secretary. The comedy relief is provided by a police sergeant. Fred Kelsey does well in the role.
I downloaded the 474MB AVI file. There are some missing frames, but nothing really is lost in them. Images are just short of fuzzy, which made it hard for me to distinguish characters at first. The audio quality was fine.